Totalhealth Pharmacy, a network comprising 40 of Ireland’s independently owned retail pharmacies, has opened Ireland’s first totalhealth branded pharmacy in Westport, where the independent retail pharmacist, Sheila O’Donnell, based on Bridge Street, has rebranded to O’Donnell’s totalhealth Pharmacy.
The opening in Westport marks the beginning of a €4 million rollout of Ireland’s newest consumer facing retail pharmacy brand under the totalhealth symbol.
The Group, which originally started out as a pharmacist-led buying network, and is fully owned by Irish pharmacy retailers, intends to grow the network of totalhealth stores to over 160 stores by 2018, through a combination of existing and new members, establishing totalhealth as Ireland’s largest independently owned retail pharmacy chain.
It is expected that totalhealth branded stores will open in Roscommon, Castlebar, Tuam, Stillorgan, Dublin, Cork and Limerick in the first quarter of 2014.
Commenting on today’s launch, Ollie McGuinness, chairman of totalhealth said: “Today marks a real milestone in the evolution of the retail pharmacy sector in Ireland and in particular for the sustainability of the independently owned community pharmacist.
“Totalhealth will bring all the benefits of being part of a large retail brand and buying group to the local independent pharmacy, while strongly promoting and enhancing the unique position and contribution of the local pharmacist to the community.
“Our vision at totalhealth is to create something new, something innovative and fresh in pharmacy retailing; a unique totalhealth offering that is better for the independent pharmacist, better for the customer and better for the community. Trusted, local care is the core values reflected in the brand.”
Established on Bridge Street in Westport for over 60 years, and with a current staff count of eight, the store which is owned by the second generation O’Donnell family has undergone a complete re-fit of its 2,000 sq ft. store to incorporate all the key elements of the new totalhealth brand and store design. This includes new shop equipment and IT systems, a complete new set of internal and external branded signage, and a revamped modern store layout and lighting system.
Speaking on the opening of Westport’s new rebranded store, Sheila O’Donnell, owner, and pharmacist at O’Donnell’s totalhealth Pharmacy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our clean, fresh new look and overall offering for our valued customers. Being part of the totalhealth network of independent Irish owned pharmacies will bring tremendous benefits for not only managing our business more effectively but in delivering new levels of innovative services, care and product choice for the communities in which we serve.
“We are particularly excited about the introduction of our new in-store ‘takecare’ branded clinics, where customers can choose from a range of medical services on offer such as blood pressure monitoring, diabetes testing, weight management and nutritional advice. Many of these services will be available at no additional charge or at discounted prices. We will also be hosting a series of health information clinics with various totalhealth experts on specialist topics throughout the year.”
Owned by Irish pharmacy retailers, totalhealth is the only pharmacy symbol group to offer retail pharmacists ownership through a shareholding in the group, whilst at the same time maintaining complete control and ownership of their own store(s).
Commenting on the range of benefits that the totalhealth network offers the independent pharmacist, John Arnold, commercial director at totalhealth said: “We believe that totalhealth can offer the Irish independent pharmacy a real way forward to thrive in an ever challenging and competitive environment. The pharmacist keeps control and ownership of their business, while being able to leverage the benefits of a national consumer brand and buying group.
“Better buying power, access to a greater range of added-value services and products to increase footfall in the store, marketing support and advertising campaigns, financial and management reporting systems, in-store design, staff development and most importantly, more time to spend with customers, providing advice and assistance, are just some of the significant additional benefits that being part of the totalhealth brand network brings.”
While 250 people are currently employed within the network, Arnold believes that employment numbers will treble to almost 750 people by 2018, helping to sustain and create new jobs, as the totalhealth brand develops and grows within the independent pharmacy sector.